Monday, December 30, 2013

One Cookie, Three Ways

I love to bake. I love the idea of taking separate ingredients - eggs, butter, flour, sugar - and combining them in all sorts of interesting ways to assemble a unique creation, much like an artist combines a canvas, brushes and paint to create a work of art. Except you can't eat a painting. Which is probably why there are more bakeries than art galleries. People can squabble for hours over their opinions on a piece of artwork, but it only takes one bite of a cookie to know if you've got a winner.

I would be happy spending hours in the kitchen baking perfect treats, but let's be honest. My free time and energy level often fall short of my ambition. I want to spend just enough time in the kitchen to satisfy my creative itch, so I've starting devising shortcuts and tricks to only make it look like I've spent hours slaving away. 

This year I came up with a recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookie Dough that can be used to create 3 distinctly different and delicious cookies: Peppermint Blossoms, Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies and Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Pillows. 

The chocolate dough bakes up thick, dense and rich - think brownies in cookie form. YUM. Each recipe adds a unique ingredient that sets each cookie apart. TRIPLE YUM. When you roll up to a Christmas party with a tray of these bad boys, your friends will think you've been baking for days. You don't have to tell them that you whipped up all these suckers at nap time.

For the Chewy Chocolate Cookie Dough, begin by mixing flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Then, melt a stick of butter in a saucepan and add cocoa powder and sugars. The mixture will resemble coarse sand.

Add yogurt and vanilla!

 Now add the whole mess to your flour mixture.

Hopefully you have a mixer. If not, add it to your Christmas list pronto and break out your mixing spoon for now.

The dough should look something like this when finished. Form it into a ball. You can also refrigerate the dough if you are not ready to use it yet.

Watch out for little munchkins who try and steal your baking supplies.

Caught ya!!


Chewy Chocolate Cookie Dough
-adapted from this recipe
-I was able to make a dozen Peppermint Blossoms, a dozen Chocolate Salted Caramels and about 18 Peanut Butter Pillows. If you use the recipe for just one cookie, it will probably yield 3 dozen.
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars (mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Form dough into a ball. Optional: cover ball of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

(need one bag of Hershey's Peppermint Kisses)

Roll chocolate dough into balls (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and space apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350ºF for about 6 minutes. Immediately press one peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. The candies will become soft, so the cookies must cool until the candies harden up again.

(need a bag of chewy caramel candies and some sea salt)

Slice caramel candies in half. Wrap chocolate cookie dough around each caramel half. Slightly flatten the top of the cookies and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350ºF for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

(need one batch of peanut butter cookie dough - store-bought or use the recipe below)

Roll chocolate dough into small balls (about 1/2 inch in diameter). Wrap peanut butter dough around the balls  and flatten the cookie slightly. Bake at 350ºF for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Also, cookies will always come out better if you use a Darth Vader spatula.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix butter, peanut butter, sugars and egg thoroughly. Blend all dry ingredients; stir into peanut butter mixture. Chill dough. 


  1. what a cool idea! i can't wait to try the caramel ones!

  2. hey girl, can you just make my christmas cookies for me this year?? lol